Compensation for families of victims killed in a PMT Air plane crash in Kampot province more than five months ago cannot yet be paid as analyses of the doomed plane’s “black boxes” are still not complete, the National Assembly heard Monday.
Mao Havanall, secretary of state at the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation, told the Assembly that the flight data recorders from the Antonov An-24 passenger plane had been sent to Russia but it would take more time before the results are known.
PMT’s insurer, whom he did not name, could not accept the testimonies of witnesses, and as the flight recorders did not use digital technology, it would take time for the information to be processed fully, he said.
“Today, the insurance company is waiting for the results,” he said. “The company will compensate the victims’ [families]—Civil Aviation is pushing for the results.”
PMT Air flight U4 241 crashed in mountains in Kampot while flying from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville on June 25. All of the plane’s 22 passengers and crew‚ which included five Cambodians, 13 South Koreans, three Czechs and a Russian, died.
Mao Havanall was responding to questions from Funcinpec and SRP lawmakers about the circumstances surrounding the crash during a debate on the civil aviation draft law on Monday.
SRP lawmaker Sok Pheng said that the investigation into the crash was taking too long.
“These planes are too old…these accidents affect our country’s reputation,” he added.
“Tourists will be afraid to fly in Cambodia,” Funcinpec lawmaker Soth Sothon said.
Mao Havanall, however, defended aging planes flying Cambodia’s skies saying that accidents could occur regardless of how old a plane is.
He also denied that the recent downing of a 43-year-old Imtrec Aviation Antonov An-12 cargo plane in Kandal province while en route to Singapore was a crash. Crewmembers and one passenger were injured in the incident, but there were no deaths.
“The plane wanted to land because they wanted to avoid causing more casualties,” Mao Havanall said of the crash landing in a flooded field.
Following that crash landing, the SSCA indefinitely grounded all Antonov airplanes on Oct 23.